Home security is an essential addition to any home, adding reassurance and deterring unwelcome guests. The Internet of Things has made it easier than ever to set up a smart home which allows you to remotely control your door locks, lights, thermostats, vacuums, lawnmowers and, of course, your security system too.
Ready to install a sturdier, safer and smarter security system in your home? Read through our five tips for getting set up with a complete smart home security system.
1. Smart Cameras
A smart home security system starts with a smart camera. These devices have come on leaps and bounds in recent years, boasting features like wide-angle HD cameras and night vision, as well as temperature and motion sensors. The best models pair with your phone so that you can keep an eye on your home even when you’re not in the building.
The very smartest models can “learn” who belongs in your home (including pets!) and alert you when someone that they don’t recognise has got into your home. Better still, smart cameras either contain a siren or can be paired with one — and can even allow you to quickly contact the police via an app in an emergency.
2. Smart Locks
Smart locks are one part security feature and another part practical timesaver. Generally, it works by allowing keyless entry to your home for you and your family. Smart locks can be paired with your phone so that your front door automatically unlocks when you arrive home, which means no more fumbling around in the dark for your key. It’ll also automatically save a record of when your door is opened and who comes in and out of your house.
The other neat feature of smart locks is the guest entry system. Rather than leave a key under the mat where it can be picked up by anyone, you can send a key pass to your guest, which will allow them to unlock your door using their phone for a limited time. For instance, you could use this to let the builders in while you’re at the office. The key pass will expire when it’s no longer needed, meaning you don’t need to worry about one-time guests gaining unrestricted access to your home.
3. Smart Alarms
As amazing as the underlying technology actually is, we’ve become so accustomed to motion and temperature sensors that these almost magical pieces of tech seem ordinary. Let’s take it up a notch with a new type of smart alarm that will astound even jaded millennials: a smart alarm that can listen out for dangerous sounds and patterns of speech and notify first responders!
Better still, the newest smart alarms come equipped with a “smart shutter” that is controlled by AI. When the device recognises that everyone is home, the smart shutter will automatically cover the camera to protect your family’s privacy. When nobody’s in, the shutter will automatically open again to keep an eye on the place while you’re away.
4. Smart Smoke Detectors
The smart smoke detectors of 2018 come equipped with an HD night vision camera, a motion sensor, a noise sensor and a year-long battery life. Like other smart gadgets, they can be paired with your phone so that you will be immediately notified if anything out of the ordinary takes place in your home.
For additional piece of mind, some gadgets can be upgraded with a professional monitoring service. This service puts a live human in charge of monitoring your home for signs of smoke and other omens of disaster.
5. Defend Your Home
It’s important to remember that smart home security systems are only as safe as the network that they are connected to. It’s essential to take steps to protect your smart home from hackers — here’s what you can do.
First of all, make sure that you set up secure, memorable passwords for all of your Internet of Things (IoT) devices and share them with as few people as possible. This might seem obvious, but a lot of the “hacks” we see against smart home security are nothing more complex than someone trying a device’s default password.
You should also look to secure your router. Your router is a key part of your network and while many of today’s IoT devices are fairly secure, many people are still using dated routers that are easy to hack. Once the router’s been hacked, it leaves other devices connected to that network vulnerable too, including smart home security devices.
Lastly, check the protocol used by each of your smart home devices. A device that connects directly to the internet via WiFi might not be that secure — there are all sorts of people lurking and the internet is a two-way street! Ideally, your device should work with a secure IoT protocol such as Google Thread. It’ll still be able to connect to the internet, but Google Thread will act as a buffer and prevent easy access to your device.
About The Author: An expert in home automation and with his finger on the pulse of innovation, Simon Perks installs cutting-edge smart home security systems and home automation projects in central London.